The words “back to school” conjure up many memories for all of us. These days so many of those memories are captured on social media with the first day of school photos. I am sure you have seen them: smiling children holding chalkboards with their new grade level scrawled on them; children hugging their new teachers; teenagers starting high school, wearing new clothes and shoes and carrying new backpacks, waving goodbye and climbing aboard the school bus. I remember those moments with my own children as if they had happened just yesterday.
There are so many different memories captured, but the common thread is a sense of excitement and anticipation for what the new school year will bring … both for the students and their parents. These first days of school represent a new beginning and a promise of great things to come.
That is the kind of experience we hope to create for the children and teenagers in our care at the Star of Hope. For so many of them their back to school experiences were not filled with hope and excitement. They may not even have been attending school regularly because of the challenges they faced in their home environment … parents who were not capable of taking care of them; moving from place to place … school to school; possibly even living in their cars. It is very difficult to be excited about school or have hope for the future when you do not know if you will have a place to sleep when you get home … a place to do your homework … or even food on the table that evening.
When these children are at the Star of Hope, many of them are experiencing stability for the first times in their lives. While their parents are recovering from the issues that made them homeless, restoring their relationship with God and learning how to care for themselves and their families, their children are being taken care of by staff members who love them and are ready to help them every step of the way.
Thanks to your support – both financial and in prayer – Star of Hope is able to provide these children with an environment that gives them an opportunity to succeed … and be excited about the first day of school.
Thank you for all that you do for the Star of Hope and the precious children we serve each day. You are a valued member of the Star of Hope family.